Beer kegs in Iowa will have to carry an I.D. number so they can be tracked. Governor Chet Culver signed that requirement into law today. "Anything we can do to help prevent underage drinking I support and this bill, I think, is long overdue," Culver says. "It will really help us better track those adults who perhaps in the past were helping underage individuals drink."
For the past several years high school students from around the state have made pilgrimages to the capitol, urging legislators to pass a law requiring tags on beer kegs and forcing retailers to write down the names of the people who buy keg beer.
Two years ago, Matt Thornton of Sigourney was lobbying legislators. "Tag the keg. It’s simple, easy. Do it," he said at the time. Thornton says he had been arrested for drunken driving. "No one else should have to go through what I went through," he said. "It’s horrible."
Tim Carr of Lamoni started a group called "Iowans to Reduce Underage Drinking," and he led a rally in Des Moines last year. "We know that laws can’t keep people from making bad decisions, but we also know that when you hold people accountable for their actions, you often change behavior," Carr said.
Boards of Supervisors in a handful of Iowa counties have already enacted beer keg registration ordinances. The neighboring states of Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota and Nebraska all require registration tags on beer kegs.